On May 27, INL's Caribbean Anti-Crime Grant, implemented by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), convened its 23rd virtual KIT. The program provided an overview of Weighted Caseload and Remote Hearings and highlighted experiences from the Supreme Court of Nebraska and the Texas Office of Court Administration.
Approximately 90 judges, magistrates and attorneys attended the KIT session from 8 countries: The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago. Attendees included Chief Justices, Magistrates, Attorneys, and Court Administrators. Key speakers included Dr. Brian J. Ostrom, Principal Court Research Associate of NCSC, The Hon. Mme. Stephanie F. Stacy of the Supreme Court of Nebraska, and Jeffrey Tsunekawa, Director of Research and Court Services of the Texas Office of Court Administration.
Key areas emphasized were the importance of case count, case type, and judge year value in shaping our understanding of what courts do and calculating resource needs. Overall, weighted caseload can aid courts in determining the number of judges needed to handle caseloads, assessing the equitable distribution of cases, assessing administrative boundaries, managing resources, and evaluating in person vs. remote hearings. Presentations also highlighted the role of data analysis in reviewing court performance and creating guidelines and clear instructions for both in-person and remote hearings.